How Much Water Should We Really Drink Per Day to Boost Our Health?

Published on March 12, 2022

Drinking water vector illustration. Flat tiny Africa potable person concept

From getting 10,000 steps a day to fitting in a meditation to planning nutritious meals, taking care of your health and fitness can sometimes feel like it’s just too much. But living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be complicated — there are a few things you can do every day that won’t take a ton of extra effort, time or money. That includes paying attention to how much water to drink per day.

Drinking Water Will Improve Your Health

Drinking enough water each day is a simple thing you can do to improve your physical health and give your energy a boost without breaking the bank. Staying hydrated comes with several benefits including helping with digestion, hydrating your organs, normalizing blood sugar, helping your skin glow and much more.  

The Rule of Thumb for Daily Water Intake

Water before breakfast. Slim and fit woman with many little braids drinking water before having breakfast

There’s been some debate over how much water to drink per day, with some experts claiming we need upwards of two litres a day, while others say we don’t need nearly this much water to function. Still others, such as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine say that women should consume about 2.7 litres or 11 cups of water a day, and men should have about 3.7 litres or 16 cups.

However, the general consensus seems to be that eight eight-ounce glasses of water a day is a good rule of thumb for most people, also known as the 8×8 rule. This will fluctuate slightly depending on how much water you’re losing throughout the day — for example, if it’s a hot day out or you’re doing strenuous physical exercise.

How Much Water to Drink Depends on a Few Factor

Woman filling drinking glass with tap water on the kitchen. Concept of clean drinking tap water at home

Exactly how much water to drink per day also depends on the size of your body, your birth sex, whether you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, and how much hydration you’re getting through the foods you eat. For example, foods like fruit, cucumbers and celery are high in water content, which adds to your overall water intake throughout the day.

Can You Drink Too Much Water?

Morning of beautiful young woman drinking water in bedroom

Is it possible to drink too much water, you ask? The short answer is yes — it’s possible to overhydrate yourself, which can lead to water intoxication and dangerously low levels of sodium in your blood.

If you’re hoping to land on the perfect amount of water to drink for your body, check out a hydration calculator to help you figure out the perfect formula.

The bottom line: the exact amount of how much water to drink per day will vary slightly for everyone. Experiment with different quantities, listen to your body’s thirst cues and try to eat more foods that are high in water content, but be careful not to go overboard.

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The Author
Mackenzie Patterson is a Toronto-based writer and journalist. She enjoys long walks, iced coffee on tap, and discovering all the latest and greatest health and wellness trends.